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Where to Eat and Drink for a Night at Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre

The best downtown Detroit restaurants, cafes, and dessert spots for a date before and after the show

Globe lights hang from the ceiling like stars inside the Hearth 71 dining room at the Highlands next to curved windows looking out over the city. Gerard + Belevender

The summer season is winding down, but there’s still time to catch an end-of-summer concert at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre. Detroiters are getting vaccinated and restaurants, and cafes and dessert houses are brimming to the rim with selections to get to know that special someone over a dining or drinking experience.

Here are some eating and drinking spots close to the old Chene Park in downtown Detroit.

Before the Show

If the mood to mingle starts before the concert, meet up at a bar to get acquainted over libations.

  • Ivy Kitchen & Cocktails. Although the Ivy serves a full dinner menu, it opens at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, making it the perfect place for an after-work cooldown. The cocktail menu isn’t as full as the dinner and brunch menus with only four beverages, but after ordering the Detroit Ole Fashion or Hennessy Jalapina, it becomes clear why: pure heated and smooth perfection.
  • They Say Restaurant. This neighborhood staple with the red awnings feels like a home away from home. Its warm and inviting atmosphere can be hard to leave. Make sure to order the rum and cokes to go with the barbecue burgers that leave an aroma in the air.
  • The Block. The 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Happy Hour is back on Wednesdays, full of margaritas and good conversation. This lively super-casual Black-owned eatery owned by Stephanie Bryd and family, who also own Flood’s Bar & Grille and The Garden Theatre has bounced back with a vengeance.
Globe lights hang from the ceiling like stars inside the Hearth 71 dining room at the Highlands next to curved windows looking out over the city. Gerard + Belevender

Dinner After the Show

  • Hearth 71 is classified as the highest restaurant in the city, inside the GM Renaissance Center overlooking the water from the 71st floor. Try the sea scallops with bacon-flavored Brussel sprouts and get stuffed on the hot bread and butter that are constantly replenished.
  • Bucharest Grill is a family-owned Mediterranean cafe right in the heart of an East Jefferson stroll in posh Rivertown. Mouth-watering chicken and lamb shawarmas fit right in the palm of a hand when on the go.
  • Detroit’s Finest III Coney Island. Date nights in Detroit can often end at a coney island for several reasons but this family-owned coney island actually has really good coneys. What makes a coney good? The customer service at 3 in the morning, served with a smile.
  • Sloppy Crab has held a few events in a soft opening in the last week and is accepting reservations. Billed as a “fine seafood establishment” is the perfect location across from the GM building and is a welcome addition to downtown.

After-Dinner Dessert

A flight of stairs, placed near the door, leads to Coffee Down Under
Coffee Down Under stays open until midnight on Wednesdays
Gerard + Belevender
  • Astoria Pastry Shop has been a staple of the Greektown community serving European desserts since 1971. It still has the most expansive selection of colorful and glistening pastries. Don’t spend hours trying to decide on what to order: get the custard rolls and homemade honey curls. They are the house specials.
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory inside the Greektown Casino, has the best of both worlds with a chocolate factory and ice cream shop mere feet from each other. In the mood for chocolates? Order an assorted box of caramel chocolate to indulge in the next day.
  • Coffee Down Under, an Australian-style coffeehouse, stays open until midnight on Wednesdays and has the best Chai tea to glide into the ride down Woodward on the way home.

Ivy Kitchen and Cocktails

9215 East Jefferson, , MI 48214 (313) 332-0607 Visit Website

The Block

3919 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 832-0892 Visit Website

Hearth 71

400 Renaissance Center 71st Floor, Detroit, MI 48243

Astoria Pastry Shop

541 Monroe Street, , MI 48226 (313) 963-9603 Visit Website

They Say

267 Jos Campau, , MI 48207 (313) 446-4682

They Say Restaurant

267 Jos Campau, , MI 48207 (313) 446-4682 Visit Website

Coffee Down Under

607 Shelby Street, , MI 48226 (313) 444-6626 Visit Website